Friday, August 28, 2015

Fundraising Friday - Running for Bryer


I'm taking a cue from Bryer's mommy, Carey, and putting in the shameless plug for fundraising for Bryer's Song today.

ALL money raised goes to Nationwide Children's Hospital to help in SO many different ways.

In case you are still on the fence, check this out:

Every child shall receive the highest quality care, regardless of a family's ability to pay.

More than $128 million per year in charity care and community benefit services.


Your money isn't going to some big comglomerate who pockets your money for their own benefit.

Your money is helping out sick children and their families.

Families who thought there was no hope, no answers, for their children's health.

Families who realized they are able to get the best care for their children, even though they don't have the means to do so.

It takes 5 minutes to click the links below and donate.  

Here's a breakdown of where your money can help:


 THANK YOU!


Monday, August 24, 2015

13


The first thing that caught my attention was his sense of humor.


And following right along with it was the sense that he didn't really care if he was 'cool' or not.  He didn't see the need to fit into a certain mold.

And I thought that was so....cool.


It took another year before I had the guts to make actual conversation with him.\


And it took him another 6 months before he had the guts to ask me out.


In 9th grade Spanish class.

And now, 18 years later, we are celebrating our 13th wedding anniversary.

We had our doubters.  Some people didn't think we would make it.  Some people didn't think we should make it.


Too young, too dumb...

But, praise the Lord, we started it out right, and have worked to keep it there.


God in the middle.

Obviously, we're human, so there's ups and downs.  

And I wonder why that 'cool' kid sticks it out with me.

But he does. 

And I thank the Lord for that.

Friday, August 21, 2015

Running for Bryer


 If you have followed this blog for awhile you have probably heard me mention Bryer Largent.  This sweet little man lived for 11 months, but has made a huge impact with the life that he lived.

He spent most of his days in Nationwide Children's Hospital in Columbus, Ohio, fighting the battle of trying to stay alive despite the numerous health challenges facing him.

Two years ago, Bryer ended his fight and is now pain free in the arms of Jesus.

For the last 7 years Paul and I have run the Columbus 1/2 and full marathons that come around each October. 

For the last 2 we have run in memory of Bryer.


Have run in support of his parents who have continued on without their sweet baby in their arms.

And have run for all those other little kids fighting for their lives right now in Nationwide Children's Hospital, and their families battling alongside them.

And we're looking to do it again this year.

And you can be a part of it.

Paul and I are looking for friends and family to donate $5, $10, $25.

When you donate, all the money goes to the hospital and helps pay for the little things that can help brighten a little one's day.

Or their tired, bedraggle mother.

Or their exhausted father.

Click on this link and it will take you to the home page of Team Bryer's Song.  Scroll down to the bottom and you will find both Paul and I's names.  Click on each of our names and make a donation!  Below is an example of what your money will buy:



Our race is October 18th, but we would love to both hit our goal of $250 by the 1st of October!  Will you help us out? 

Warm socks, band-aids for all those needle pokes, clean diapers for little preemie baby bums.

All those sweet little lives thank you.


Tuesday, August 11, 2015

Note to Madeline

Welp.  It's happening.

Our baby, our youngest....is headed off to Kindergarten.


I knew it was going to happen quick.  Having 3 children 18 months apart, you are bound to go through some stages rather quickly.  It was not that long ago that I was watching through tear-bleared eyes as Owen, and then Hannah, walked through the doors of the school.

And there is no doubt in my mind that there will be tears for Madeline as well.


I am having similar feelings that I did for the last two, although they do vary a bit.  Obviously I've done this before.  It helps that Madeline (and me!) is lucky enough to get the same amazing teacher that Owen and Hannah did.

But, also, Madeline is our extrovert among introverts.   In a family that craves one on one and down time, Madeline longs for the love a group.

The thing she is most excited for?  "Seeing all my friends!"


But I still have that concern of sending her off into a classroom of peers.  It brings back all of my own feelings of inadequacy, and wanting other to like me, and trying to find my place among all the other kids.

And as I see the quiet, unsure side of Hannah that I can relate to, Madeline's need for the crowd also gives me pause.  The whole needing to be liked thing swings both ways, effecting the introvert and extrovert alike...just in different ways.

As I've said in another post, we often focus on making sure our kids find their value in God's eyes, and not in another human's favor.  It seems like they get it.

They get it in the safe, comfortable place of home.

But I think of all those unknowns for Madeline, those things that I went through that I really don't want her to experience.  I don't want to see her hurt.  I cringe of thinking of that day when someone verbally tears her down for something that at one point she cherished about himself.  Causing her to doubt everything about herself that at one time seemed so sure.

I want her to be equipped with the knowledge that I have now, after having gone through it myself.

But truthfully, those lessons are often learned through personal experience, and not because someone has told you.

Madeline,
You are a treasured child of the King.  The world is going to tell you that you are going to lose, but take heart - THEY DON'T KNOW THE RULES.

Don't take it personally when some kid makes fun of your mismatched on purpose clothing choices or the stuffed animal that you brought in for show in tell or calls you some name that brings tears to your eyes.  They only call you that to make their own selves feel better.  There is something about you that threatens them.  And by calling you out on your 'lameness' somehow makes them feel like you are back to their level.


I want you, Madeline, to be sure of yourself, knowing God has created you as a unique individual, with unique qualities and tastes.  The best person you can be is YOU, not an imitation of someone else.

People's valuation of you should not matter, only God's valuation of you should.  Measure yourself by his ruler, by His Word, not by the measuring stick of your peers.

Love God, show others God's love, despite their actions toward you.  Remember, you don't need a certain number of friends, just a number of friends that you can be certain of.

There will always be someone richer, cooler, smarter than you.  That's just life.  But there will also be others who are poorer, wallflowers, back of the class.  That's life, too.  But God doesn't play favorites and you shouldn't either.  Treat each peer as an equal, someone who is loved by Jesus, and in need of Jesus' love.

THIS is what I want you to know before you go to Kindergarten, Madeline.
 
It would save you a world of heartache.  But I know you, like me, will have to discover this for your own self.  I can only hope you figure it out sooner than I did.

You are so excited to start school and I love your excitement for learning.  May it continue to grow and to motivate you to learn more, not only about your world, but about others, about God, and about who you can be for Him.

Friday, August 7, 2015

July Lookback

Well, as I stated in my previous post, July was all about the Wiegands.  As well it should be.  Rumor has it they only come around about every 2 years.

If the middle two weeks of July contained all we could get out of the missionary's furlough, then the two weeks on either end of those were filled up as well.

July always starts out, literally, with a bang.  We did our traditional Fourth of July breakfast at my parent's house as well has swimming and hanging out.  We ended the day with fireworks...of course.  We were gifted tickets to the city's Triple A baseball team game and were able to stay in our seats for the downtown fireworks as well.

Seriously, my nephew looks SO ornery in every picture I take of him.

So glad my aunt was feeling well enough for her and her husband to join us for the day as well!



Sometimes you just have to have random animal facts displayed on your kitchen stools.

We hit the zoo on a day that was a bit rainy and hardly had a crowd to contend with.


Our house is not far from a launching site for hot air balloons.  Often on nice evenings we'll see them float past.  Doesn't matter how often, it just doesn't get old.

We ended the month with a Reunion with all my Uncles, Aunts, and cousins from my mom's side of the family.  Crazy, it seems we were just little kids celebrating Christmas at Grandpa and Grandma's and now we have to set a reunion date in order to see everybody! Time keeps marching on...

My Aunt and Uncle have a great place to hosta big group.  A converted old barn and a log cabin. 
Despite the temperatures soaring into the 90's, we all found ways to stay cool, whether it was a slip 'n slide...or air conditioning.





Smoked meat, roasted corn on the cob, yard games, crossword puzzles, 
guessing games, old photos to rifle through...
not bad for a first reunion.

Of course we had to wrap it all up with a visit to Grandma.  We were hoping she could make it to the event, but she just wasn't feeling up to it.

And now we've hit August...and although the calendar says Summer is still here for another 6 weeks, the looming of school right around the corner begs to differ.

So we nod to the summer, give a grateful smile, and turn to the schedule before us.  Earlier bedtimes, math homework, planned meals, drives to school, grading papers, lesson planning, and all those other things that come along in mid-August.


Thankful to have a God that is constant.  Never changing when everything else threatens to.

So I cling to that promise as my kids get another year older, advance another grade.  As I grow a little more tired, and move a bit slower.

He was the same in July, He'll be the same in August.

He saw us through last year's crazy school year.  And He will see us through this one, too.

Monday, August 3, 2015

That time when the Wiegands came to town

I had anticipated it for months.  Made sure to keep my July calendar free.

My dear, dear friend, Carrie, and her husband and kids, were going to make a 2 week stop in our area.  They were in the states this summer, returning for a bit from their work in Zambia.


Well, the time came and went.

Way too quickly.

But we were able to squeeze some quality time in while they were here.
 
A cookout with their prayer team, hosted at our house.








A sleepover at out house their first night in town (catch up time!).

 Comparison shot! 2013 to 2015



A late night (up until 5AM) with ladies from church.

A zoo trip that was shrouded with thunderstorms.  We were just about the only people in the park.



 We had to hang out with the orangutans as the storm blew through.

 And I've always wanted to be in Africa with Carrie.  But, the African Safari will have to do for now.


 An overnight getaway with dear friends.  Many laughs and little sleep.  Wonderful.











And now they are gone, back in Africa, working on transitioning back into the life that has become theirs over the last 2 years.

It's goodbyes like these that make me long for heaven.  A place where there are no more goodbyes.

But it also makes me thankful for this thing God has set up.  This Family of God.

That although thousands of miles and a huge ocean separates us, I can rest in the assurance that God is both present here with me, and present there with them  AT. THE. SAME. TIME.

And I can celebrate the fact that no goodbye said to another child of the King is a forever goodbye.  We will see one another again.

And that is for sure.